On Friday, Patrick Michels noted that Deep Ellum denizens didn't exactly greet the city's long-talked-about plans to two-way Commerce and Elm with open arms. But new streets aren't exactly around the corner; they're part two of a three-step makeover that has but the first phase funded. Nevertheless. For those who want a sneak peek, late Friday Patrick added the city's renderings, some of which you see above and all of which follow below.
Patrick "Car-Free" Kennedy weighs in with his own thoughts on the subject. Far as he's concerned, change is gonna come, and it's necessary ("Deep Ellum's streets are too wide"), and some folks just hate change, pure and simple. But all that said, he insists, the city's might want to reconsider how it's going about the extreme makeover:
What they SHOULD do, which is exactly what we proposed when going after the Complete Streets masterplan, was that the designs should be designed and built over a period of time, starting with a Better Block style "reconstruction." Restripe the streets, add new planters, increase amount of pedestrian space, convert to two-way, but don't yet bother with the cost and time of full design and construction. Instead, monitor the usage of the new design. See how people are reacting. Measure things like the amount of pedestrians on the street at given times, travel speeds, number of cyclists using it, number of cafe tables set up and occupied, etc.
Then, slowly but surely, as investment begins to trickle back into Deep Ellum, as it is repedestrianized, begin to make some of the changes permanent, piece by piece, as the tax base is increased.
The city's docs follow. Mind the speed bumps.ELM and COMMERCE Mock ups
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